On Aug. 30, frac sand corporation Minnesota Sands filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court in a continued attempt to subvert local democracy and undo the frac sand ban in southeastern Minnesota’s Winona County. The ordinance was passed by Winona County Commissioners after they listened to the will of the people, and has already been upheld in District Court and at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
This last-minute, desperate attack on the ban is further proof that wealthy corporate interests are deeply threatened by the power of organized people working together through our local governments to protect the common good for people and the land. Minnesota Sands has refused to disclose the identities of its owners and financial backers. The source of the money being paid to Faegre Baker Daniels, Minnesota’s largest law firm, to continue to unreasonably drag out this legal case, is unknown.
We are confident that, in the unlikely event the Supreme Court even chooses to hear this petition, the ban will once again be upheld. The right of local governments to protect their communities from harmful, extractive corporate activities, such as frac sand operations, is very clear.